County Stats (19/20 season)
Batsman Will Fraine returned home to Yorkshire on a three-year deal ahead of 2019 and proved why the club’s hierarchy had pursued him with a brilliant maiden first-class hundred in a mid-summer Specsavers County Championship win over defending champions Surrey at Scarborough.
Fraine, 23 and from Huddersfield, is seen as a key part of Yorkshire’s rebuild after the departure or retirement of a number of senior heads.
The likes of Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks and Andrew Hodd have all departed Emerald Headingley in recent years.
While Fraine is not a direct replacement for any of those names, his arrival is a shining example of the club looking to the future following a couple of tough years in Division One.
Top order right-hander Fraine spent the second half of the 2018 season with Nottinghamshire, making his Championship debut in a late July defeat to champions Surrey at Trent Bridge, scoring 19 and 30.
Fraine had played five first-class matches prior to signing for the White Rose, four of which came for Durham MCC University after debuting in early 2017.
In 2019, he added eight more appearances to that tally – all opening the batting in the Championship having broken into the side on the back of some excellent form in the second team.
He totalled 393 runs with his top score 106 against Surrey at Scarborough, an innings which saw him repel and attack against ex-South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel.
He completed a degree in Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity at Durham Uni in 2018.
Fraine played under 17s cricket for Yorkshire in 2012 and 2013 alongside the likes of Matthew Fisher, Matthew Waite, Jordan Thompson and Jared Warner.
He also played for the Academy and then represented the White Rose under 19s in 2014 prior to moving to boarding school in Worcester.
Fraine represented Worcestershire seconds in 2015 and 2016, scoring an unbeaten 87 in a three-day Championship draw against Yorkshire at Scarborough in June 2016.
That was the summer when he made his first-class bow for Durham MCCU, against Gloucestershire as an opener. He went on to captain the side.
In 2017, he played for MCC Universities, who play in the county second XI Championship, before playing at the same level for Notts during the second half of the summer and into 2018.
He scored a series of half-centuries to help him earn a senior contract in early May and then hundred in a T20 clash with Northants in July, attacking with success against England Lions fast bowler Richard Gleeson.
Fraine played half of the T20 Blast campaign during the latter stages of the summer having debuted in a televised Royal London one-day Cup clash with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford. He had a University assignment due the following day!
He was offered a new contract to stay at Trent Bridge beyond the end of the season, but Notts had signed Ben Slater, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke to hamper his chances of regular first-team cricket.
A former Silcoates school pupil, Fraine played his club cricket for Honley in Holmfirth, Huddersfield.
Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: “He’s a medium to long-term signing.
“He’s going to be challenging for places for us, but there’s no guarantees. We see him as someone for the future, and we’re building up a group of really good young batsmen that we’ll see the best of in coming years.
“Speaking to Paul Grayson, who has had him at Durham University, he rates him very highly. We’ve known about him for a little while and were interested in having a look at him before Notts signed him.”
Unfortunately, 2019 ended on a sour note for Fraine due to injury.
He has had a long-standing dislocation issue with his left kneecap. He has dislocated it five times in his life, including twice in September and November.
First he did it in warm-ups before a Championship game at Somerset and then again on his debut for Sydney grade side Gordon in November. It forced him into reconstructive surgery in early December, with his participation in the early stages of the 2020 domestic campaign in doubt.
However, he is confident that those issues will now be behind him once and for all and can concentrate on piling on the runs for Yorkshire.